Bills blitz Dolphins in 19-0 win
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie and the Miami Dolphins had trouble
handling the Buffalo Bills’ blitz during the game.
And McKinnie and company had difficulty coming up with answers
afterward, too, following a 19-0 loss on Sunday that put a dent in
the Dolphins’ playoff chances.
”Um,” McKinnie said, beginning to laugh uncomfortably when
asked what went wrong, ”I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you.”
The patchwork offensive line – the Dolphins’ season-long
weakness – gave up a season-worst seven sacks and was part of a
unit that managed just 103 yards and six first downs against an AFC
East rival that had little to play for after being eliminated from
playoff contention a week earlier.
”I don’t know,” added right tackle Tyson Clabo of a line
that’s surrendered a franchise season-worst 58 sacks. ”Obviously
that wasn’t our goal to have that stat…”
The Dolphins (8-7) had a three-game winning streak snapped and
find themselves in a convoluted mix of four teams – Baltimore
(8-7), San Diego (8-7) and Pittsburgh (7-8) – competing for the
AFC’s final playoff spot. Miami needs help while closing at home
against the New York Jets next weekend.
The Dolphins’ loss clinched the AFC East for New England.
Buffalo’s blitz got to starter Ryan Tannehill on the third play
from scrimmage. And the pass rush didn’t stop until he was sacked a
final time on his second-to-last snap of the game.
In closing their home schedule, the Bills (6-9) won consecutive
games for the first time since Weeks 2-3 of last season.
”That was a pretty good beating,” Bills defensive coordinator
Mike Pettine said. ”They were flying around. They were getting off
the ball and they just looked a step faster than Miami did all
Veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams and rookie cornerback
Nickell Robey had two sacks apiece. Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes
and Da’Norris Searcy added one each in helping Buffalo to its first
shutout in over two years – and first at Ralph Wilson Stadium since
a 21-0 win over Miami on Dec. 17, 2006.
The seven sacks upped Buffalo’s total to 56 this season,
breaking its previous high of 50 during a 14-game season in
”It’s a nice consolation for where we are,” Kyle Williams
said. ”I think you’ve seen today potentially what we can do.”
The defense took the burden off a depleted offense led by backup
Thad Lewis starting in place of rookie EJ Manuel, out because of a
swollen left knee.
And the Bills’ offense finished without its top three receivers.
Rookie Marquise Goodwin had a right knee injury late in the first
quarter. Fellow rookie Robert Woods was ejected for punching safety
Reshad Jones in the facemask in the third quarter. Veteran starter
Stevie Johnson was excused to be with his family following the
death of his mother.
Dan Carpenter essentially sealed the win by hitting a 45-yard
field goal to cap the Bills’ second possession. Carpenter finished
hitting all four attempts against his former team, and Fred Jackson
had 111 yards of offense, including a 9-yard touchdown.
”I’m very proud of this team,” rookie head coach Doug Marrone
said. ”It was an honor to be on that sideline and watch those guys
Lewis, who grew up in Miami, finished 15 of 25 for 193 yards and
an interception. He improved to 2-2 this season, with both wins
coming against the Dolphins.
Miami crossed midfield only three times, converted just two of
14 third-down chances, and managed just six first downs, including
two in the second half.
Tannehill finished 10 of 27 for 82 yards and was briefly knocked
out of the game with a left knee injury after Williams’ second sack
early in the fourth quarter. Matt Moore took over and provided
Miami a short-lived spark by completing a 50-yard pass to Brian
Hartline. He followed by throwing an interception to Jim
Though Tannehill said his knee’s fine, he wasn’t pleased with
the offense’s outing.
”It wasn’t one thing, it wasn’t one area,” Tannehill said.
”Every aspect of the game, we failed to step up to the
NOTES: The Bills have three players with at least 10 sacks –
Mario Williams (13), Kyle Williams (10 1/2) and Jerry Hughes (10) –
for only the second time since 1995. And they’re the first NFL team
with three since the 2000 Saints. … The Dolphins were shut out
for the first time since closing last season with a 28-0 loss at
New England, and were swept by Buffalo. … Tannehill has 3,709
yards passing to move into 10th on the Dolphins’ single-season
list. The top-nine spots are held by Dan Marino. … Marrone
revealed after the game that DT Marcell Dareus was benched for the
first quarter for violating undisclosed team rules.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org